On Monday, senior officials in the Biden administration and US senators toured Western Asia, seeking to allay growing unease among Arab partners over America’s re-engagement with Iran and other policy changes in the region.
The trips come as the US and Iran, through intermediaries in Vienna, discuss a return to Tehran’s tattered 2015 nuclear deal with world powers former President Donald Trump quit three years ago. The United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia and other Gulf allies, excluded from Obama-era nuclear negotiations, have repeatedly called for a seat at the table, insisting that any return to the deal must discuss Iran’s ballistic missile program and support for regional proxies.
Senator Chris Coons, a key ally of Biden, told reporters in Abu Dhabi that he hoped to allay the Sheikhdom’s “understandable and legitimate concerns” over the return to the historic agreement and create “broader engagement” with them. Gulf partners.
Mr Coons said “close consultation” with the UAE on the ongoing talks in Vienna was “important, expected and ongoing”, adding that he hoped the Emiratis “could not only be briefed, but really help ”.
“I had no intention of suggesting that there was an agreement in the works where the Emiratis would get anything,” he said. “Vienna is the place where the US government negotiates.”
Senator Chris Murphy joined the wave of diplomatic activity in the region this week, traveling to Oman, Qatar and Jordan for a dialogue on a political solution to the war in Yemen.